Sections in this issue:
1) Was David Goings a Turkish Melungeon?;
2) GRF Research Conference Set for May 1995 in San Diego;
3) DEAR COUSINS.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 5, No. 11 July 1994
1) Was David Goings a Turkish Melungeon?
By Evelyn McKinley Orr
Chairman, Melungeon Research Team
8310 Emmet, Omaha, Nebraska, 68134
My ancestor, David Goings was born in 1783, probably in
Virginia. In 1939 a grandson of David reported that his father
thought David was Turkish. His father, John Goings and his
uncle David Goings, Jr, “looked like old men of Turkey as we
see them in pictures today.” The first David Goings who was
described as having swarthy skin is now regarded as a
Melungeon. Was he a Turkish Melungeon? Let’s examine
some facts that contribute to the complex Melungeon mystery.
Turkey is situated between the Black Sea and the
Mediterranean Sea, and its population includes North African
and Mediterranean peoples. Originally of Asian ancestors, the
Turks became mixed with the Greeks, Ethiopians, Arabs,
Abyssinians and Berbers. Later the Turks and the Moors
became major political forces in the world. The Moors and
the Portuguese also share an Arabic and Berber heritage. The
Turks became part of this scenario with much of this same mix
and geographic proximity. The Moors-Portuguese-Spanish-
Iberians are emerging as probable ancestors of the
Sir Francis Drake, the famous English seaman of the late
1500s, became entangled in a most interesting episode. In
May 1585, Drake liberated a large group of galley slaves of
various nationalities from Spanish bondage in Santo Domingo
and Cartagena, according to “Sir Francis Drake,” pp190-191
by George Thompson and “Set Sail for Roanoke” by David
Drake decided to free the slaves, some 500 plus, including
some women in the vicinity of Havana. An anti-Spanish
community in a fortified harbor in Cuba would give the
British a strong position in the Caribbean and serve as a base
for their operations. As Drake approached Cuba, hurricaneforce
winds arose, and all that Drake could do was to run with
the storm. He was off the coast of Virginia before the storm
abated and determined to put in at Roanoke Island, a colony
just planted by Sir Walter Raleigh.
Thompson concluded that Drake planned to reinforce the
Roanoke colony with his newly-freed passengers. Gov. Ralph
Lane whom Raleigh had left in charge expressed no
confidence in the future of the colony and requested that
Drake take them aboard as well. The colonists prevailed upon
Drake to take them back to England.
What then happened to the 500 non-paying passengers? Were
some of them dropped off at the Roanoke colony to make
room for the Lane party? Did the former slaves abandon
Lane’s fort, move inland and meld into the Indian population?
Did they ultimately link up with Iberian refugees from the
Santa Elena colony of Capt. Juan [Joao] Pardo in 1567? Were
they to become the Melungeons?
In 1990 James L. Guthrie made a comparison of genetic
material taken in 1969 from Melungeons living in Hancock
County, Tennessee with the DNA samples taken from peoples
living in other parts of the world. His findings were published
in “Tennessee Anthropologist,” Spring 1990 in an article
entitled “Melungeons: Comparison of Gene Frequency
Distributions to Those in Worldwide Populations.”
Guthrie concluded, “Several comparisons indicating
Mediterranean heritage include the value of the Melungeons’
O gene. It is similar to values in certain populations of
Cyprus, Crete and Turkey. It is recognized that small sample
sizes, the availability of Melungeon data in only five systems,
the uneven distribution of samples around the world, and
changes in gene frequency distribution over time, limit the
rigor of this treatment. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the
populations not significantly different from the Melungeons in
these characteristics still exist, but they live in a relatively well
defined part of the world, the Mediterranean and the northwest
coast of Europe.”
Joseph Benenhaley, regarded as the progenitor of the Turks of
South Carolina, married a Lumbee Indian woman by the name
of Oxendine. He arrived in Sumter County before the
Revolutionary War and claimed to be of Arabic descent from
the coast of North Africa which was then part of the Turkish
In 1963, Muhitten Guven, a member of the Turkish
Parliament, on a State Department tour of the United States,
learned of the Sumter Turks and requested a visit to their
community. He observed many similarities with his own
appearance and regarded them as Maltese. The Guthrie
Report listed Malta as one of the locations where the natives
have a “gene value Fy’ similar to the Tennessee Melungeons.
Ken Taspinar, the interpreter for Muhitten, concluded that the
Sumter Turks were North Africans from the Turkish Ottoman
Empire, according to “Turks,” “U.S. Journal,” March 1969.
As family genealogists continue their search and as more
DNA analysis becomes available, the evidence will unfold.
Hopefully, the curtain of antiquity will be drawn away from
the Melungeons. Researchers should watch for blood ties
among the Turks, the Redbones, the Brass Ankles, the
Catawbas, the Lumbees and the Melungeons of Appalachia.
Dr. Brent Kennedy, Melungeon researcher and head of the
prestigious Melungeon Committee, found Lumbees among his
Melungeon ancestors, according to his new book “The
Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People.”
The early Lumbees used the term “Melungeon.” An instance
of their probable ties to the Sumter County Redbones appears
in the 1915 North Carolina Supreme Court case of “W. B.
Goins et al vs. the Board of Trustees, Indian Normal School.”
Children of the Redbones Goins families had been denied
entrance into the Indian Normal School for Croatan/Cherokee
[now called Lumbee] Indians in Pembroke, North Carolina.
The Goins families claimed they were sometimes called
Redbones sometimes called Croatan Indians. They were
asked to prove that they were “not of not of Negro blood to the
Harold McMillan, a former North Carolina state senator and
Lumbee historian, was called to testify in the case. He had
written and introduced the legislation in 1887 which provided
for the “establishment of a school for the people who
descended from the tribes on Croatan Island.” In 1885 he had
written the legislation which gave the Indians living in
Lumberton County the official name of Croatan. Prior to that
legislation, they called themselves “Malungeans.” The tern
“Malungean” was also used to describe a member of the
Redbone Goins family in the transcript.
The Turkish government in June sent a television crew from
Istambul to Atlanta to film an interview with Dr. Kennedy.
The Turkish moderator explained to him that his government
was undertaking a study of southeastern American Indians,
seeking a possible link with the Turks through the Moors.
These examples lend credence to the possibility of Turkish-
Moorish-Portuguese-Spanish-Iberian blood in the
Melungeons. Proof of this theory will show that the scope of
the American “melting pot” is even greater than originally
The English won the struggle for North America, and our
history books naturally begin with the first English
settlements. Historians have had little interest in the activities
of the fringe nationalities. The “Iberians” are found only in
the footnotes, if at all. The Foundation’s Melungeon Research
Team and Dr. Kennedy’s committee have found some
intriguing pieces of the puzzle. The work is ongoing, and
additional researchers with an interest in the Melungeons are
invited to join the search.
David Goings, age 20, was married to Susannah William in
1803. Her family was a member of the New River German
settlement in Montgomery County [later Giles County],
Virginia. The New River valley was a major migration area
for settlers moving west in the 1700s, and the Melungeons
were among them.
The Goings had 13 children, 11 living to adulthood. All were
born in Montgomery [Giles after 1806] County. The family
seems to have escaped the discrimination dealt many of their
The family lived along Sinking Creek beside Melungeon
Collins families which later appeared in Hancock County,
Tennessee. The land of David Goings was given to him by his
father-in-law. About 1824 the Goings removed to
Montgomery County. In the early 1830s they removed to
Delaware County, Indiana, being influenced there by two of
their married daughters. Quite a wave of migration headed
west during that decade, being attracted by cheap virgin land
Many Melungeons removed from Montgomery County at that
time and melded into the European populations, as did the
family of David Goings. Later, his descendants in Iowa
regarded themselves as French. Today many Melungeon
descendants are unaware of their heritage and the
discrimination that many of their ancestors endured. Yet,
some of them have obvious Melungeon features and
David, Susannah and six unmarried sons were in Liberty
township in Delaware County by 1834. Several years later
David rode his horse back to Virginia for a visit with Goings
relatives who remained there. He died there in 1840 on his
Children born to David Goings and Susannah William Goings
Elizabeth Goings born March 29, 1804
Katherine Goings born April 21, 1805
Mary “Polly” Goings born January 29, 1807
Margaret “Peggy” Goings born February 5, 1810
Rachel Goings born November 27, 1811
Sally Goings born November 14, 1813
Frederick Goings born May 1, 1815
David Goings, Jr. born March 22, 1817
George Goings born October 4, 1818
Joseph Addison Goings born February 20, 1820
William Goings born January 1, 1822
Lewis Goings born January 30, 1823
John Williams Goings born December 16, 1826
“The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People” can
be ordered by calling Mercer University Press, 800/637-2378
[800/342-0841, Ext. 2880 in Georgia] $16.99.
1. Elizabeth Goings was married to Samuel G. Campbell,
Scotch-Irish in Montgomery County and removed to Delaware
County. He farmed and taught school in Liberty township.
2. Katherine Goings was married to Jacob Surface, a German.
They remained near Pearisburg, Virginia where he was a
3. Mary “Polly” Goings was married to Anderson R. East, a
German and removed to Delaware County. He also farmed
and taught school in Liberty township. A son, Lt. Crockett
East died in the Battle of Gettysburg. War Department
records describe him as having “dark hair, dark complexion
and blue eyes”–a Melungeon description?
4. Margaret “Peggy” Goings was married to Abram A. Brown.
It is believed that they remained in Virginia.
5. Rachel Goings was married to John A. Burton, a German.
They remained in the New River area.
6. Sally Goings died young.
7. Frederick Goings was married to Hannah Hoover in
Delaware County. He farmed in Liberty township of
8. David Goings, Jr. was married to Margaret King in
Delaware County. He also farmed in Liberty township.
9. George Goings died young.
10. Joseph Addison Goings was married to Delilah Tharp in
Delaware County. They removed to Benton County, Iowa
where he farmed in Polk township. They were the author’s
11. William Goings was married Susannah Bortzfield in
Delaware County. They remained there where he farmed in
12. Lewis Goings was married to Elizabeth Ketterman in
Delaware County. They accompanied his brother, Joseph
Addison Goings in a move to Iowa and later removed to Smith
13. John Williams Goings was married to Sarah Bortzfield in
Delaware County. He was a farmer and a grain dealer in
2) GRF Research Conference Set
for May 1995 in San Diego
The Foundation Board of Directors in its annual meeting
unanimously elected to accept the invitation of National
Genealogical Society to come to San Diego in 1995. The San
Diego Conference, hosted by the San Diego Genealogical
Society, will be held May 3-4-5-6 at the Town & County
Hotel and Convention Center. The Convention Center is
surrounded by hotels and restaurants of all types, giving GRF
members a wide choise of accomodations.
Several attendees at the Houston Conference held in June
suggested that the Foundation members come in one day early
for a strictly family research day. On this date, Foundation
and Editorial Boardmembers can have an opportunity for
gatherings to exchange family research, discuss manuscripts
and books in preparation, plan the future of the Foundation’s
efforts and to enjoy finally meeting face-to-face with fellow
researchers they had known only by correspondence
previously. Accordingly the board kept the option open for a
smaller day-long meeting on May 2 to precede the NGS event
which is expected to attract 2,500 attendees. Comments and
program recommendations on this Foundation Day proposal
are solicited from the members.
It is hoped that the Smithsonian Institution will have
completed its proposed DNA analysis from the Melungeon
Gowen graves at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport and can
report on its findings at a Foundation dinner meeting on the
night of May 2. Foundation members will want to highlight
that date on their calendars and to reserve it as a
National Genealogical Society, recognizing the importance of
genetics to genealogy, has begun to emphasize the need for
researchers to gather family medical history as well as
ancestry. A task force of geneticists, physicians and
researchers has been formed to investigate this rapidly
emerging field, and several DNA lectures will be presented
during the four-day NGS program.
The San Diego Genealogical Society has also sent an invitation
to Foundation members and is providing brochures on
the Conference and the vacation attractions there. The 1996
Conference is scheduled to be in Nashville, Tennessee.
3) DEAR COUSINS
I am seeking the ancestry of my grandfather, Curtis
Melvin Gowen who was born about 1910. He was married
about 1930 to Edna Francis Henson. In 1934 they were living
in Poinsett County, AR. He served in the U.S. Navy during
World War II. She died in Newport, Arkansas in 1984, and he
died there in 1985. Children born to them include: Curtis
Melvin Gowen, Jr. and Dale Clayton Gowen. Any
information would be most welcome. Ms. Dale Lynn Gowen,
Box 128, Grubbs, AR, 72431.
My brother Don, sister Yvonne and I have made a
commitment this summer to complete a book about the
ancestry of our father, William Rufus Going. We are also
committed to send to you some articles for the Newsletter on
our WWI veteran grandfather, our WWII veteran father and
Carnegie Medal for Heroism recipient brother.
Our ancestry stems from Revolutionary soldier Drury
Going, b1749, Isaac Going, b1775; William George
Washington Going, b1824; William Mack Going, b1850;
James Leonard Going, b1891 and William Rufus Going,
b1924. It’s amazing to realize that there are only six
generations in my family from the Revolutionary War to
World War II.
Your Newsletter has carried research of many of
these, and this has been immensely helpful to our research.
Additionally it has placed us in contact with many distant
cousins and fellow researchers. Thanks so much! My
membership is enclosed. Martha E. Going Thomas, 303
Conley Rd, Hapeville, GA, 30354, 404/361-4734.
Thanks very much for all the material on my York
County, ME branch of the family. I read it all very eagerly in
the hope of finding my ancestors. The transcribing of the
manuscript you sent is completed, and as soon as proofreading
is finished, I will return my assignment.
As soon as we are settled in Massachusetts and I get a
chance to look at census records, I may need a diskette on the
York County section of the Foundation Manuscript which you
offered. I am enclosing a check to help cover the copying and
mailing costs incurred by the Foundation.
I wrote to William Rodway Gowen in Washington
state and received a gracious letter in reply. He hopes to do
some additional research this summer and may have some
more information for us. Susan B. Liedell, 148 Kate’s Path,
Yarmouth Port, MA, 02675
From all of us with National Genealogical Society
and Clayton Library Friends we express our appreciation for
your outstanding performances as program speakers at the
1994 Conference in the States in Houston in June. Thank you
for your contributions.
As soon as one Conference concludes, there is
another preparing to take “center stage.” Of course, I am
referring to the 1995 Conference in the States to be held in
San Diego, California on 3-6 May. The Conference site will
accommodate attendees with housing and support the program
and exhibits–everything centrally located on the property.
San Diego is in a beautiful region where people enjoy the
climate and tourist attractions. Carolyn J. Nell, President,
NGS, 4527 17th St. N, Arlington, VA, 22207.
There is a small Goins cemetery in a corner of the Ft.
Bragg military reservation which is being federally maintained
in Cumberland County, NC. The headstones in this family
cemetery have some strange engravings, and I have found no
one here who can decipher their meaning. I would be glad to
hear from someone who can help solve this mystery. Joe
McDonald, Box 70, Hoffman, NC, 910/281-5271.
I am looking for the parents &/or siblings of
Euphemia P. Goins/Gowing/Gowen who was born about 1833
in AL/VA/TN. She was married June 13, 1850 in Tuscaloosa
Co, AL to Dennis Denmark Davis as his second wife. They
were enumerated in 1860 in Walker County, AL.
At the beginning of the Civil War, they attempted to
move to the North, but were caught in the middle of the Battle
of Town Creek in Lawrence County, AL. It was here that
three of her step-sons were conscripted into the Confederate
Army. The Union Army escorted the remainder of the family
to Cairo, IL.
After the war they returned to Colbert County, AL.
Euphemia had brothers: Wesley Goins, bc1841 and James
Goins, bc1843. Tradition says the family had Indian blood.
Can anyone help on this? Beatrice Russell, Route 2, Box 381,
Tuscumbia, AL, 35674
Enclosed are some photos taken at the Houston
Conference. I enjoyed the Conference so much, and it was
great to visit with all the cousins. It was a pleasure to meet
Dr. Brent Kennedy, a very nice fellow. I enjoyed his lecture
immensely and am now reading his book. I think it’s great!
Louise Goins Richardson, 2207 East Lake St, Paragould, AR,
I recently read a good book on the Melungeons and
was delighted to find several of my surnames listed as possible
Melungeon names. Since most of them were in areas that had
Melungeon populations, it seems a pretty good chance that at
least one of these families might BE Melungeon.
This would solve a personal mystery for me at last
should it prove to be true. I have straight, fine hair that will
not hold a curl. After years of permanents and sleeping with
curlers–and still having straight hair–a beautician told me that
my hair was flat–literally with sides and not round as hair
usually is in the Caucasian race.
She told me–and it has since been confirmed by my
doctor–that the only way you can have flat hair is to be of
Asian or Native American heritage. Since my cheekbones are
high and I have somewhat of an olive complexion that tans
easily, I thought it was as simple as finding a Creek or
After years of searching, I have not found a trace of a
Native American in my family tree. So, finding the
Clemmons, Gibson, Atkins, Hendrix, Dyess and Mullins
names in the Melungeon book made me think that my weird
hair comes from a Melungeon ancestor who was part Native
I am enclosing my ancestor chart in hopes that
someone among your researchers might be able to shed some
light on my mystery. If you think there is a chance that I
might indeed share the fascinating Melungeon heritage–I
would very much like to join your organization. Elizabeth
Palmer Gay, DTJ, FSA Scot, Rt. 3, Box 439, Moultrie, GA,
Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Internet:
NOTE: The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing. It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic. I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes. So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct. Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.
Their website is: Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf
There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors. The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.
Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.